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Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO)

The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small sac like structure located in the left atrium. The LAA normally works by slightly contracting to help blood flow in and out of the structure. In patients with atrial fibrillation, blood can often stagnate and cause clot formation in this structure which increases the risk for stroke. Blood thinning medications like Warfarin are often prescribed to help reduce the risk of blood clots. However, some patients may be need a non-drug solution like Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO).

How does it work?

The Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) is a one-time procedure to seal the left atrial appendage using the WATCHMAN™ or Amulet™ implants. These devices keep blood clots that may form in the LAA from entering the bloodstream and causing a stroke.

Am I a good candidate for treatment?

If you’re at risk of developing blood clots in your left atrium/left atrial appendage due to non-valvular atrial fibrilliation (AFib), your healthcare provider may recommend LAAO. This is an alternative to taking a blood thinner like Warfarin or Coumadin to reduce your risk of stroke.

What can I expect after treatment?

During LAAO, an Interventional Cardiologist will use a catheter to insert a special device to close or block your left atrial appendage. These devices occlude or block the left atrial appendage’s opening to your left atrium.

    1. Your provider will insert a catheter (carrying the device) into a vein near your groin. Fluoroscopy, transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) or intracardiac ultrasound (ICE) can help guide your provider.
    2. They advance it to your right atrium and make a hole between your left and right atrium.
    3. The catheter goes through that hole and to your left atrial appendage.
    4. They put the device into your left atrial appendage to cover its opening. This seals off the left atrial appendage and keeps it from releasing clots.
    5. They remove the catheter.

After the procedure, you may be required to stay in the hospital for a few days. A follow up transesophageal echo (TEE) is performed to ensure proper device placement.

Why Deborah?

The team at Deborah Heart and Lung Center is known for handling the most complex cases and offering advanced non-surgical solutions that other less experienced interventionists may not perform on a routine basis. Our team also actively participates in clinical trials as well as a fellowship training program to teach future interventional cardiologists, meaning our patients benefit from both the latest research and a collaborative approach to care.

Our expertise, technology and experience are extensive and make us the best at what we do.

Terms & Conditions

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